So, having eaten the magic stone, my stomach feels full. It’s about time I consider what to do next.
For now… yawn… I’m feeling sleepy.
Every time I eat my fill, drowsiness takes over.
Alright, I’ll take a short nap and then decide.
With that said, goodnight.
When I say that, it somehow feels like I’m back to normal life.
Even though I’m actually buried under problems.
I had just shed my skin.
I peel it off bit by bit, handing the mess over to drawing mannequins to clean up.
Now, with my stomach full and my drowsiness gone, it’s time to think about what comes next.
I gather my thoughts as I slowly tread along the deep passageways.
For some reason, when you’re lost in thought, ideas seem to flow better when you’re walking rather than sitting still.
The current issues at hand are…
Fáfnir and Elibel’s dungeon fusion and strengthening the dungeon.
Collecting information about my mother and Gwyve’s actions.
Trading with the Holy Dragon and the Holy Land.
The upcoming Continental Congress.
That’s about it for now.
For the dungeon fusion, I think leaving it to Gijie and Tsumugi will do the trick.
The ideas I came up with last time have been implemented, and if there are more like that, it should greatly help in dungeon defense.
Well, it might cause a bit of a ruckus on the surface, but I’ve sent some solutions to Gijie.
He should be able to handle it.
He’s evolved more than I thought.
A voice calls from behind.
『Oh, isn’t that Tsumugi?』
Turning around, there she is.
Tsumugi, a monster with the “Dungeon Altering Ability”—a Pathless and one of my loyal subordinates.
Surprisingly, she’s my second subordinate, right after Ann.
Well, I only realized that recently.
By appearance, she seems around Tres’ age, maybe an upper elementary or middle schooler.
Her hair, skin, clothes… all pure white.
Only her eyes are caramel-colored.
Her big, cute eyes are revealed thanks to a golden hairpin that keeps her bangs in check.
Moreover, she has a unique trait where she’s “invisible” to specific individuals.
Elibel is analyzing this trait, but we’re still clueless about its logic.
『You were home?』
「Un. Fal’s condition is getting better, and I thought I’d report to Elibel.」
Fal—Mineral Dragon Fáfnir is currently recuperating in a capsule Elibel created, located in the lowest layer of his dungeon.
It’s the same one I used.
He’s healing from the injuries from our fight and stopping the progression of the dungeon core corruption.
Since the fusion with my dungeon began, the dungeon core inside Fárbnir has become completely docile.
Well, since both our goals align—extending the life of the vessel—Fáfnir, it makes sense.
But we still haven’t established a way to completely separate Fáfnir and the dungeon core and prolong their lives each separately.
「Fal’s been talking to me about various things lately. Like his adventures with Robun and the others. It’s so interesting!」
Tsumugi speaks with genuine enthusiasm.
Lately, she’s been smiling more.
She must really enjoy being with Fáfnir.
『That’s great. But don’t pester him too much, okay?』
「I—I won’t! I always stop whenever he gets sleepy.」
She’s clearly flustered, but it’s probably fine.
If there was a real problem, Gijie or Elibel would’ve alerted me.
「Well then, Dad, I’ll head to Elibel’s place.」
『Be careful. And watch out for her harassment.』
「Don’t worry! If it comes to it, I’ll use ‘Alteration’ and ‘Teleportation’ to escape.」
With a smile, Tsumugi dashes off.
I remember she teleported an entire floor to escape Elibel’s advances before.
That caused a massive commotion, mixing up the deep layers with Fáfnir’s.
She’s quite the unique entity.
I have a feeling that since fusing with Fáfnir’s dungeon, my subordinates have gotten even stronger.
Even Rasetu, the armored warrior, turned out to be extraordinarily powerful, despite being a newbie.
Well, it’s all good.
Strengthening the dungeon is always a plus.
After ensuring Tsumugi went to the lab, I start walking again.
Sigh, what to do about the holy land and my mother…
Gwyve, who probably knows about the circumstances, is currently at the holy land.
But the teleportation gate there isn’t open yet.
To get there, I’d have to move from the surface dungeon at Add Mountain Range.
That’s how Elja came to me this time.
Thinking about the future, it might be better to move outside and act.
I wonder if there’s a better way…
『Sigh. It’s tough when things don’t go smoothly… What should I do?』
Without any brilliant idea in sight, I head towards the surveillance room.
At Elibel’s lab―――
「―――I see…. I see…. Okay, got it. Do your best. Yes, I’m fine here. Take care.」
With that, Elibel taps a brilliantly colored sphere, ending her communication.
「Was that a call from Ms Una?」
Berg, who had been organizing materials in the background, inquires.
「Yes. I’ve asked her to regularly update me on the situation outside. It seems like Una and her group safely made it to the Hà Giang Empire.」
「Oh, did they?」
「They faced some troubles on the way. Apparently, they got separated from one of the Saints and her guard. Though they did manage to regroup. What was her name again? Something Orion-ish?」
Elibel recounts with a mischievous chuckle.
「That delay seems to have pushed back their entry a bit. But it doesn’t look like it will affect the schedule of the continent meeting. It’s still set to happen as planned.」
Elibel has documents about the continental meeting, sent via memory transmission from Una’s group.
Berg skims through them.
This list contains the names of representatives from various countries attending the meeting.
「Hmm, this time around, the attendees seem quite prominent. Not only are there direct representatives from each country, but the substitutes are also pretty well-known figures.」
「It just shows how much importance this continental meeting has garnered.」
「The representative from Borhelic Kingdom… Is Lady Léna-Lloyd attending?」
「Yes, that old hag. She’s now acting as the prime minister of that country. Probably just a figurehead though.」
「I remember she always had a distinct lack of interest in anything she didn’t care for. You often read books at her mansion too, didn’t you, Miss Elibel?」
Reminiscing about the past, Berg speaks.
「As for materials and books, the Reynolds House had better quality and quantity compared to the Löwenherz House family. But speaking of the old hag herself, I didn’t like her one bit. Although she seemed to get along with my sister.」
「Really? I didn’t know that.」
Berg exclaims with genuine surprise.
「Of course. She’s inscrutable, only acts upon her interests, and she’s a weirdo with a penchant for troubles and complications. How could I possibly like her?」
Perhaps it’s a case of hating your own kind?
Berg almost remarks how similar the two are but decides against it.
He values his life after all.
「Anyway, Miss Elibel, there are a lot of participants in this continental meeting.」
「It’s indicative of the movements in each country. Plus, it looks like we won’t be uninvolved this time.」
「You’re referring to the teleportation gate in the surface dungeon?」
Elibel nods in agreement.
「Yes, there’s no doubt our dungeon will be a topic of discussion. We can’t afford to ignore it.」
The teleportation gate in Earth’s surface dungeon is already a crucial hub for inter-country relations—particularly significant in Magic City Endymion and the Holy Kingdom of Harshalud, not to mention its significance in the Wano Country.
Right now, international trade using these portals is skyrocketing.
Every major nation is buzzing about it—it’s become too big to ignore.
I bet in the upcoming conference, they’ll probably discuss the dungeon’s ownership rights and tariffs.
If things go well, it might even get recognized as a national treasure like the Fafnir dungeon.
That’d be great.
But Elibel’s game isn’t just that.
Her real target lies elsewhere.
「Berg, any updates on the tracking? Last time with Fafnir, we lost the trail midway.」
Elibel asks, her voice thick with concern.
Berg shakes his head.
「No luck. It’s the same situation. She’s cunning, concealing her magic, which makes it tough to track.」
Elibel scratches her head in frustratio.
「But she’s definitely going to make a move this time. The dungeon’s grown this big—she can’t ignore it.」
Elibel’s primary focus isn’t the Continental Congress. It’s about the prey she hopes to catch there.
Formerly the Chief Advisor Magician of the Löwenherz House, the person who taught Elibel her magic. The same jerk who deceived her, stole her research results, and vanished without a trace.
For some reason, she’s super into dungeons, especially mega ones like the Eight Great Dungeons.
With this dungeon absorbing two of the Great Eight and growing so quickly, there’s no way she’ll ignore it.
She’ll definitely pull some stunt.
Elibel guesses it might be during the next Continental Congress.
That’s why she’s laying so many traps.
She’s got Una and Dos working on stuff, too.
「Just you wait, Rias… This time, I’m gonna catch you.」
Elibel mutters with determination
I’ll settle everything at the continental conference in three days. This time, I’ll settle our two-hundred-year-old score.
Elibel’s resolve hardens.
But there’s another player in the game.
In a place so dark and deep that no light penetrates.
There, an overwhelming presence stirs.
Each move it makes sends deep, echoing rumbles through the earth.
「―――Well, time to go see my little one.」
A slow, deliberate voice murmurs.
She starts moving, driven by the need to see her beloved child.
Various entities and schemes intertwine, all converging on the upcoming Continental Congress.
The story kicks into gear.
Although, everyone seems to have forgotten about a certain earth dragon that should be at the heart of this tale.
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